London Heathrow airport has claimed that the slew of complaints from the residents of the area about the noise of aircraft were made using automated software.

London Heathrow airport claims that noise complaints were sent using automated software

London Heathrow airport claims that noise complaints were sent using automated software

It also accused anti-runway campaigners of the programming special software to email a complaint whenever an aircraft was about to take off. The protesters also unwittingly revealed themselves by forgetting to set the clock for autumn time and so the software started sending out the emails one hour earlier.
At an average of 10 complaints per day, complaints from just two complainers crossed 7,888 in 2014. The authorities of the airport revealed that the noise complaints have increased five fold last year from 18,826 to 94,114. An analysis of the complaints suggested that nearly 8,458 individuals had filed an average of 11 complaints but some of them were responsible for making a large number of complaints.
Nearly 37 people who were using the software sent about 28,577 complaints, according to the airport authorities. Excluding emails generated by computer, the top ten complainers have filed nearly 18,903 complaints last year, amounting to nearly 2,000 complaints each.
An airport spokesman said, “We found out because when the clocks went back in October, they forgot to change the timing on their software, so we started receiving complaints exactly one hour before the plane took off.” Tory MP for Richmond, Zac Goldsmith, who is against laying a third runway said that he was suspicious of the suggestion.
Goldsmith said, “Even if some of them were automated, that doesn’t have any bearing on the staggering four-fold increase in the number of complainants over such a short period. Aircraft noise anywhere can be a problem, but it is important that any complaints are genuine and not part of a sophisticated campaign by a well-organised minority.”